General Studies

The Liberal Arts Tradition

Degree programs at University of the People reflect the institution’s deep commitment to the structure and rigor of a traditional liberal arts education. Each program is constructed to ensure that students acquire intellectual breadth across the major divisions of knowledge, gain depth in at least one area of specialization, and have the opportunity to explore and experiment in other areas of personal and professional interest.

The ability to think critically and communicate effectively, employ appropriate analytical tools and methods, understand one’s place in a rapidly-changing global world, explore questions from multiple perspectives, and respond creatively to challenges in a range of contexts are the hallmarks of a solid liberal arts education. It is an education that encourages intellectual discipline, unleashes the imagination, fosters a life-long love of learning and equips one to engage with the growing complexities of today’s scientifically and technologically evolving society.

A liberal arts education takes students outside of their comfort zones and established areas of interest. It exposes them to new ways of thinking and knowing. Students are forced to engage with systems different from their own and to examine their prior assumptions and beliefs. It is a journey of personal and intellectual growth impelled by a framing and reframing of one’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. More importantly, a liberal education is preparation for life as a responsible citizen. UoPeople graduates possess intellectual resourcefulness and a questioning attitude, a commitment to reason and an openness to alternatives, an appreciation of diversity, and the soundness of judgment necessary to take action and lead others. University of the People graduates have a special obligation to use their education to make the world a safer, more just and humane place in which to live.